Is America ready for the jobs of the future?

A new report says the country's staff isn't skilled for the jobs of the future. So, what needs to be done?
20 July 2018

Are American’s prepared for the jobs of the future? Image for representative purposes only. Source: Shutterstock

When you see the recent developments in technology, you’ll realize that the jobs of the future will need skills that are different from those required for the jobs we hold today.

The internet of things (IoT) will inform your central server when machines at one of your facilities in Michigan, for example, is nearing failure, and you’ll be able to deploy one of the AI-powered robots in the factory to fix it.

As you can already imagine, companies won’t need people to do the basic tasks. Operations, repairs, and all those repetitive administrative tasks will be automated.

The jobs of the future will be more strategic, more technical, and require better communication skills.

And America isn’t prepared.

A recent report issued by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) outlined the importance of reskilling America’s workers for the jobs of the future.

“Renewed economic growth, a booming job market, and the evolving nature of work are transforming the face of the labor market, resulting in changes in the skills American employers need, as well as new and different opportunities for American workers,” it said.

According to the White House, investment in skill development is largely “frontloaded” during the first 25 years of life in the United States. After that, public contributions to formal education are substantially smaller, and employer training represents the most sizable investment in further developing the skills of the American workforce.

“Restrictions on the use of Federal funds, which may have been appropriate when specific programs were designed to address the labor market challenges of another era may not be optimal for the future reskilling challenges, especially those linked to trade and technological change,” said the report.

So, for companies that want to take responsibility and get their employees trained for the future, what should they do?

LinkedIn Talent Solutions predicts that 85 percent of the jobs of 2030 haven’t been invented yet. Hence, it’s less likely that they need more technical training and more likely that they need a cultural change.

“Creating a culture where employees embrace all aspects of digital change must begin with people. It’s by understanding why, how and when to best support employees that companies can experience transformative growth,” said Vitalyst Chief Experience Officer Paul Rigby.

However, managers also need to make an effort and create a plan for training their staff.

According to The Future-Proof Workplace author Dr. Linda Sharkey, “adaptability will be a must for future workers, but we’ll need to change our current learning models to develop it”.

“To do so, classroom learning will give way to experience-focused education that forces people to adapt, solve problems or co-create solutions,” she said.

According to the findings of the CEA report, the dynamics of technological change and innovation will drive reskilling needs in the future.

Companies that will succeed in the future will be those that take steps today to transform not only their organization but also their culture.